Wednesday, 3 October 2012


It only took just over a couple of hours to reach the Wallace’s Standardwing lek site before dawn, and despite an awkward trail and a shallow river crossing everyone made it safely! Along the way we had put the spotlight on roosting Black-chinned Golden Whistler and Common Paradise-kingfisher. As the day dawned we had pretty decent views of a displaying male standardwing in the mid-canopy which remained on view for half an hour or so, but just the one bird. Another could be heard nearby but was invisible way up in the tree tops. So there we have it - success with a cracking Bird-of-Paradise. Ok not a lek as such with just one bird on view but surely a highlight of the tour. And met with a resounding silence from everyone. Go figure! I am worried about the future of this lek but with news of another much bigger lek elsewhere, I think we'll definitely got for that one next time, and is apparently a much easier walk - thank goodness!

It was extremely hot this morning and the extra bottles of water we carried were certainly necessary, but this didn’t seem to deter the birds and we saw a Dusky-brown Oriole perched in a bare tree, a brief view of Moluccan Cuckooshrike for some of the group, both White-naped and Spectacled Monarchs, and a superb Cinnamon-bellied Imperial-pigeon.

In the afternoon we drove to a new site and spent most of the time watching a huge tree beside the road which held Pied Imperial-pigeon, a pair of Pacific Bazas, Spotted Kestrel and a flock of Moluccan Starlings. Then a pair of Violet-necked Lory's flew into their nest hole and finally a pair of Great-billed Parrots arrived and gave great views as they fed, preened and mated whilst we watched avidly in the scope. Sounds kind of wrong really! But from our vantage point at the top of a steep hill we had eye-level views of all these birds and spent over an hour watching all of the activity. Also had Rufous-bellied Triller, Blue-and-white Kingfisher, and a few Grey-throated Goshawks. Didn't take any photos this afternoon as the last 10 days or so of feeling lousy and having a bad stomach left me too weak to carry it - not to mention the long hike this morning.....

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